By Addam Francisco
The duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is back and playing with a big goal early in the season clearly. Friday night against the Orlando Magic wasn't a target game on the schedule for Oklahoma City or for seemingly anyone and it wasn't nationally televised, but it turned out to be the most entertaining game so far in this very young season. An 18-point, fourth quarter comeback resulted in a 139-136 double overtime win for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City beat Orlando 42-24 in the fourth quarter, and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are the biggest reasons for that. Russell didn't have a great game through three quarters, but an offensive showcase in the fourth quarter plus the extra 10 minutes worth of overtime, he ended with 48 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists off 17-of-36 shooting. This is what makes Russell the best guard in the league. He has a killer mentality, rivaling only Kobe Bryant's. Kevin seems to be back where the world knows he should be, shooting 15-of-30 for 43 points, and 12 rebounds. Durant was very patient, but aggressive through the struggles of the first three quarters. Kevin remained calm and kept playing his game, seemingly waiting for other players to step up to the paint.
D.J. Augustin had a huge impact in this game, he scored 12 points off 4-of-6 shooting. Dion Waiters also had an effective game. Yes, he only scored three points but he had seven rebounds and his plus/minus was +24, and same goes with Augustin. Steven Adams had a big impact in this game as well with his tenacity and doing all of the dirty work. His first three quarters weren't great, but he kept on trying and turned out being an unsung hero for this team in the win. There isn't a stat for "balls kept alive," "shots altered, " or even "shots created," but he did all of that and ended up scoring nine points and collecting eight rebounds.
The play of Enes Kanter shouldn't go unnoticed either. Though many thought he should have gotten more playing time, when he did get into the game he performed and helped Russell and KD start and complete the comeback before he fouled out near the end of regulation. Enes finished the game with 10 points and six rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. For those of you that don't know why he didn't play as much, it's because of defense. Orlando's big men were dominating early and we all know that defense isn't his strong point, but when it was clear that we needed offense late in the game, coach Billy Donovan made the proper adjustments and that resulted in a big road win. Serge Ibaka also added eight points and 12 rebounds in this game.
Long story short, this game was just epic and something that people needed to watch to get the full story or the full feeling. Oklahoma City will play the Denver Nuggets Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at The Peake.